Parkland (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Theatrical release poster
Directed byPeter Landesman
Written byPeter Landesman
Based onFour Days in November: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy
by Vincent Bugliosi
Produced by
CinematographyBarry Ackroyd
Edited by
  • Leo Trombetta
  • Markus Czyzewski
Music byJames Newton Howard[1]
Distributed byExclusive Media
Release dates
  • September 1, 2013 (2013-09-01) (Venice Film Festival)
  • October 4, 2013 (2013-10-04) (United States)
Running time
93 minutes[3]
CountryUnited States
Budget$10 million[2]
Box office$1.6 million[2]

Parkland is a 2013 American historical drama film that recounts the chaotic events that occurred following the 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy.[4] The film was written and directed by Peter Landesman, and produced by Playtone's Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, Bill Paxton, and Exclusive Media's Nigel Sinclair and Matt Jackson.[5] The film is based on Vincent Bugliosi's 2008 book Four Days in November: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy.


Parkland weaves together the perspectives of a handful of ordinary individuals suddenly thrust into extraordinary circumstances: the young doctors and nurses at Parkland Hospital; Dallas's chief of the Secret Service; a bystander who captured what became the most famous home movie in history; the FBI agents who were visited by Lee Harvey Oswald before the shooting; the brother of Oswald, left to deal with his shattered family; and JFK's security team, witnesses to both the president's death and Vice President Lyndon Johnson's succession to office.



Production began in January 2013 in Austin, Texas. Writer/director Peter Landesman has stated that the film does not explore the various conspiracy theories surrounding the Kennedy assassination.[5][14][15]

The major hospital scenes were filmed in a building housed on the campus of Austin State Hospital in Austin, due to the period look and feel of the building.


Parkland premiered at the 70th Venice International Film Festival, and was also screened at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.[16][17] Coinciding with the assassination's 50th anniversary year, the film was released theatrically in the United States on October 4, 2013.[5][18][19]


Parkland received mixed reviews, holding a 50% rating, based on 123 reviews, on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes; the consensus states: "Although its decision to look at John F. Kennedy's assassination through uncommon perspectives is refreshing, Parkland never achieves the narrative cohesion its subject deserves."[20] On Metacritic, the film has a 51/100 rating, signifying "mixed or average reviews".[21]

Home media[edit]

The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on November 5, 2013.

Historical accuracy[edit]

Historian Peter Ling awarded Parkland four out of five stars for enjoyment and three stars for historical accuracy. Reviewing the film, he praised its attempt to "capture the desperate efforts made to save Kennedy in the operating room." He told historyextra, "It shows that the head nurse, Doris Nelson (played by Marcia Gay Harden), had to take a piece of JFK's skull and some brain tissue from Mrs Kennedy [Jackie picked up a piece of her husband's skull at the scene], and that junior doctor, Jim Carrico (played by Zac Efron), had to be told to stop the frenetic but fruitless cardiac massage at one o'clock, when the team declared JFK dead."[22]

However, he claimed there may have been "suspect influences" on Abraham Zapruder's decision to hand over his film to Life magazine. He said, "Once copies have been given to the Secret Service and the FBI, Zapruder has to choose from many media outlets who want to buy the film. He chooses Life because he says he respects the publication, but the movie seems to hint that any suppression of the film's contents is in line with Zapruder's wishes, and not because of suspect influences at Life itself, whose managing director [C D Jackson] had CIA connections."[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "James Newton Howard Scoring 'Parkland'". Film Music Reporter. June 20, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d "Parkland (2013) - Financial Information". The Numbers. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  3. ^ "PARKLAND (15)". British Board of Film Classification. October 4, 2013. Retrieved October 5, 2013.
  4. ^ Roddy, Michael (September 1, 2013). "JFK assassination film 'Parkland' shows gore, avoids conspiracy". Reuters. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c Richford, Rhonda (September 6, 2013). "Deauville: 'Parkland's' Peter Landesman on Tackling JFK's Assassination and Moving From Journalism to Film (Q&A)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d Jagernauth, Kevin (December 19, 2012). "Zac Efron Will Play The First Doctor To Look At JFK In Assassination Pic 'Parkland'". Archived from the original on November 17, 2013. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  7. ^ a b c "James Badge Dale, Jackie Earle Haley, Colin Hanks and More Head to Parkland". Exclusive Media. January 25, 2013.
  8. ^ Tom Welling Heads to Parkland
  9. ^ Chitwood, Adam (December 19, 2012). "Zac Efron and Marcia Gay Harden Join JFK Assassination Drama PARKLAND".
  10. ^ Puig, Claudia (October 3, 2013). "'Parkland' tries too hard to cover JFK's murder". USA Today.
  11. ^ Sneider, Jeff (January 1, 2013). "Actor Jeremy Strong comes on strong". Variety. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  12. ^ "Bitsie Tulloch Is A Part Of 'Parkland'". InsomniacMania. January 31, 2013. Archived from the original on October 12, 2013.
  13. ^ "IMDb: Brett Stimely". IMDb.
  14. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (September 1, 2013). "Venice: 'Parkland' Helmer Peter Landesman On Conspiracy-Free JFK Assassination Pic". Deadline London. Retrieved September 7, 2013.
  15. ^ Alexander, Bryan (July 28, 2013). "'Parkland' shines new light on Kennedy assassination". USA Today. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  16. ^ "Venice film festival 2013: the full line-up". The Guardian. London. July 25, 2013. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  17. ^ "Toronto film festival 2013: the full line-up". The Guardian. London. July 23, 2013. Retrieved July 24, 2013.
  18. ^ Farber, Stephen (September 1, 2013). "Parkland: Venice Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  19. ^ Debruge, Peter (September 1, 2013). "Venice Film Review: 'Parkland'". Variety. Retrieved September 7, 2013.
  20. ^ "Parkland". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 16, 2014.
  21. ^ "Parkland Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved May 16, 2014.
  22. ^ a b "Historian at the Movies: Parkland reviewed". Archived from the original on January 15, 2018. Retrieved November 27, 2013.

External links[edit]